Category Archive: Notebook

Oct 17

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM

    Probably the biggest mistake beginning writers make is to share their material before it’s ready. That means, before it’s completed. DON’T!      You only have a certain amount of energy, enthusiasm, and interest in anything you write. You can either pour all that into the work or squander it little at a time at …

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Jul 28

WHAT’S AT STAKE

At ground zero your story is about your Main Character (MC) who has a goal.  How compelling, gripping, and powerful your story is depends on two things: (1) what your Main Character has at stake in pursuit of the goal and (2) how much the audience cares about this character.   To discover the value …

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Jul 23

Character Basics

A character is any person or thing with a human personality or trait in your story. Often we talk about the “good guy” vs. the “bad guy” or the “hero” or the “heroin” against the “villain.” Characters are also referred to as “A” and “B” or “C” and so forth. We’re also familiar with the …

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Jul 19

The Basics of Plotting

By definition, plot is the construction or linking together of events which tell a story. In its most basic form, there are three parts to it (1) the beginning, (2) the middle, and (3) the end. It’s like a joke, except that a basic joke is said to have just two parts, (1) the set …

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Jun 26

How To Write

The first law of writing is: There are no laws. The first rule of writing is: “Anyone who tells you there are rules is a dumbass!” (My rules are at the end of this post.) Look on the Internet and you’ll find rules for writing by some very well known, successful writers. Pick any of …

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Jun 02

When To Write

Have you figured out yet if you’re a morning person or a night person?  It makes a difference because morning people often do their best work before God or the sun get up.  Night owls tend to like the relative quiet of the evening hours when the house or apartment is dark and the only …

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Jun 02

The Good Things About Bad Writing

The Good Things About Bad Writing by Jack R. Stanley               We’ve all read something not just poorly written, but down right badly written.  And, we remember it.  The good news is this is the same thing that has happened to some of the world’s most successful writers; one day you could be one …

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Apr 28

Do I Really Need Conflict–

Do I Really Need Conflict – In Every Scene or Chapter? Yes!  It’s either ”The Village of Happy People” (Dullsville) or conflict. The Village of Happy People might be a great place to live, but you wouldn’t want to write, much less read or watch a story about it.  Everybody gets along; no one has any personality …

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Apr 28

Thinking About Titles

Thinking About Titles Everything about your story should get your best effort.  This includes the title.  If you think titles don’t help sell your story, you are very mistaken.  Just like with books, covers sell, no matter what the ol’ wives tales to the contrary may imply.  With movies and plays, posters sell tickets to …

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